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If you’ve ever gotten a bad deal on a hotel stay, than you know how bad it feels. A hotel stay can make or break a vacation. If you spend too much on a hotel room, you may find yourself eating cheap snacks and fast food; missing out on that nice restaurant you’ve been dying to eat at.
You don’t have to get stuck paying bad hotel rates. In fact, these no-work, no-brainer tips could save you a ton of money on next hotel stay.
Even if you think that 5-star hotel never goes on sale, you’re wrong!
Book Your Room in Advanced
If you tend to plan your vacations, booking your hotel in advanced shouldn’t be that hard. While you don’t have to book months in advanced, booking just days in advanced can help you save on your hotel stay.
For example, most hotels for Saturday are usually cheaper on a Monday than they are on Fridays.Throughout the week, hotel prices usually go up as the week nears to an end and you can end up paying a lot more for the same room.
Even if you’re not sure about booking your hotel room, most hotels offer some sort of 24-hour cancellation policy, so you won’t be charged if you cancel in time.
If you’re more of an on-the-limb type of person, booking late can be for you. Hotels want to fill their rooms up, so as the day nears to an end, hotels begin to offer deals and discounts for those left-over rooms.
Most of these late night deals that help you save on your hotel stay don’t happen until at least 8pm or so, so if you have other things you will be doing, this is a great tactic for you.
While I’ve personally used this strategy, I would recommend making sure no big conventions are going on nearby, where the hotel may fill up before they get the chance to offer deals and discounts.
Stay Between Sunday and Thursday
It’s no secret that hotels raise their prices on Friday and Saturday nights. Often on these two nights, you can end up paying up to 50% more for the same room that is that much cheaper throughout the week.
This is often because the majority of people travel on the weekends and head home on Sundays. Not only can you save more money by booking between Sunday and Thruday, but sometimes you also get a nicer, more relaxing hotel stay.
Stay During Off-Peak Seasons
My parents were notorious for taking my sisters and I to Disney World every February. We never really wondered why we didn’t wait until the summer, but as I got older, I realized it was because everything, including hotels, are cheaper during off-peak seasons.
Use Third Party Hotel Booking Sites
One of the biggest and most successful ways you can save money is by using third-party apps for booking your room. Some of my favorite booking sites include:
You can usually check prices on all of these apps by typing a hotel into Google and Google will bring up all the prices.
One savings app that I do NOT recommend using is Expedia. I have had terrible experiences with Expedia’s customer service standing behind the customer when the rooms were not as described.
Although, you can usually score a cheaper hotel rate on these apps, be sure to still check with the hotel themselves, in rare instances they are cheaper. Keep in mind, that when booking with a third-party app, you are no longer booking with the hotel and must go through a third-party to get any refunds.
Ask What Discounts They Offer
Many people who book hotel rooms, don’t realize that hotels actually offer discounts. If you are an AAA Member, certain employees of certain companies, government employee, or senior citizen; most hotels will offer you a discount.
While it is usually not much, every little bit helps you to save on your hotel stay.
Become a Preferred Guest
If you’ve ever stayed at hotels like Holiday Inn, Marriott, Hilton; most of these hotels offer a loyalty type card. Every time you stay in one of their hotels, you earn points and rewards. After so many stays, you eventually can redeem you rewards for free nights and discounts.
Open a Reward Credit Card
Finally, one of the best ways to save money is by opening a rewards credit card. One of my favorite cards, IHG by Chase actually offers extra rewards points just for opening and using their card.* (be sure to read terms and conditions when apply. Offer may end at any time.).
What are some ways you save on your hotel room while on vacation?